The Swiss Cottage Look


Picture Switzerland: home of the cuckoo clock and the cheese fondu, the alphorn and the decorated miniature cowbell, the mighty Matterhorn and the bank vault full of illegal Nazi gold. Picture the lonely goatherd as he finishes yodelling on the mountainside for the day and heads for home. Picture his home: a lovely cottage in the shadow of the Jungfrau with views down to the glacial lakes below. What makes his cottage so picturesque? Partly the beautiful setting, but it is also made distinctive by its steeply sloping roof.

Constituents of the Swiss Cottage look:

  • Steep pitch on the roof (45° or more)
  • Sharply pointed gable ends
  • Decorative bargeboards

The traditional Swiss mountain cottage had a steep pitch on its roof to discourage snow from settling on it. When snow mounts up, it can be extremely heavy. Snow falling all day on a flat roof whilst our lonely goatherder is out yodelling could quickly build up to tonnes of extra weight and cause the whole structure to collapse. With a steeply pitched roof, the snow should slide off, leaving our lonely goatherder’s cottage intact, even if he has to dig a tunnel through the snowdrifts to get to it.

Another distinctive feature of the Swiss Cottage look is the decorative bargeboards on the steeply pointed gable ends of the roofline. This can be achieved by shaping the lower edge of the boards with a saw and then painting them in bright colours. You may want to consider red and white like the Swiss (and English) flag. We suggest the white, gold and black of the Norfolk flag.

There are possibly a few goatherders in Norfolk and surrounding counties, snow is not much of a problem around these parts and as for mountains… well let’s just say that folks in Norwich tend to complain if they have to walk up Grape’s Hill to have a pint in the Temple Bar. But the Swiss Cottage look is as much an aesthetic as a practical one. The steep slopes and tall gables making for a strikingly different look in contrast to the increasing homogeneity of modern domestic architecture.

We can construct solid dependable roofs at any pitch you desire. All of our constructions come with a twenty year guarantee. If you have an enquiry, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01603 418818 or drop us an email at

Swiss cottage